On Friday, in an interview that appeared in The Courier-Journal Senator McConnell (R-Kentucky) again suggested a path forward for the Brent Spence Bridge that does not include tolls.
"We do need a long-term transportation bill," he said. "One possible solution to that would be to ... create a fund for nationally significant infrastructure projects and let them compete for funding. And by any objective standard, the Brent Spence Bridge would qualify as a very significant infrastructure problem. It's not some bridge that only serves Kentucky and Ohio — people from all over the country are going up and down it."
The interview also revealed that Senator McConnell and House Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio) have already discussed “moving ahead on such a transportation bill next year.”
Northern Kentucky has always been united against tolling the Brent Spence Bridge. The plan to use tolling as a means for financing the bridge has been met with resistance from state legislators on both sides of the aisle and most of the Northern Kentucky business community.
The pro-toll coalition continues to assert that tolls are the only path forward despite alternative plans offered by U.S. Senators from both Ohio and Kentucky that would not require tolls.
“We’re encouraged by the continued interest in a sensible plan for funding our region’s transportation issues,” said Joe Meyer of Northern Kentucky United. “Tolls are not the answer, and should not be a part of the conversation at this point.”
“To date, decisions related to the design and construction of the bridge have been dictated by the plan to include tolls. Our region’s transportation solutions should be decided based on what is best for the region, not by the strict legal requirements of tolling an existing Interstate. Perhaps now we can begin a reasonable conversation about how to solve our region’s transportation issues,” concluded Meyer.